With retailers looking to mobile to drive sales, there has been a significant increase in the number of in-store apps, mapping, and indoor location technology deployments in 2012, noted ABI Research.
This means that the era of in-store advertising and coupons delivered through a phone is rapidly becoming a reality, according to ABI Research's Location Technologies report.
The study predicts that 10,000 stores will have indoor location technology installations by the end of 2012. This side of the business is dominated by shopkick at the moment (via Audio technology).
But ABI Research believes that wi-fi will become the dominant technology by 2015, followed by Bluetooth. This is because wi-fi hardware vendors like Cisco and Motorola are building up their indoor location offerings, thus making it easier and cheaper for retailers to adopt such solutions.
In line with this, the total number of mapped buildings is forecast to reach 70,000 by the end of 2012, ballooning to over 500,000 by 2015.
"Looking across the different vertical markets covered in the database, ABI Research is seeing deployments in the stadium, museum, airport, and university segments, but most companies are now switching their focus to core retail areas such as food & grocery, DIY/Electronics, and shopping malls," said ABI Research senior analyst Patrick Connolly. "We expect to see a number of other big announcements in 4Q12/1Q13 that will take this market into a new level of growth."
The market is now rapidly moving beyond simple navigation and way-finding. Companies are expanding their offerings to support customer analytics and ultimately hyperlocal advertising and couponing, as illustrated by the recent acquisitions of ThinkSmart Technologies and WiLocate by Cisco and Aisle 411.
"Looking at company market shares for maps and indoor location deployments, we are seeing the order shifting significantly each quarter as startups are now making the move to high volume contracts with major retailers. We believe there is a great opportunity for a new star to emerge in this space," said Dominique Bonte, vice president and practice director, ABI Research.
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